In our preview of Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, we discovered a world with some of the best elements from games such as Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Harvest Moon infused with a unique story that is sure to take players on an adventure filled with magic, emotion, and enchantment.
The demo begins with some light character customization where you can choose traits such as gender, body shape and size, as well as hair, skin, and eye color. Although superficial, this simple gesture makes you feel that much closer to your hero. Once you’re done, you’ll begin your journey into the lush hills and valleys of the land that is Gemea.
Immediately, the game thrusts you into gameplay heavily centered around exploration. Luckily, you’re accompanied by Lumie, a sprite who provides great insight and guidance. As you exit the cave you were spawned in, Lumie isn’t shy about pointing you in the right direction.
“ Oooo! There’s a village over there. Let’s go check it out.”
In the top-right corner, you’ll see an itemized list of tasks that you’ll use to stay on top of current objectives. As an adventurer, meeting new people and taking on tasks is paramount to your progress, so this feature becomes exceptionally useful. On the bottom-left, you’ll find that Yonder runs on its own time cycles, utilizing night and day, and the four seasons. We’re unsure how this mechanic comes into play at the moment but we’re positive it has some kind of an impact on the game.
The world of Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is vast and compelling. When you’re not frolicking through its gorgeous landscapes, harvesting resources, and making friends with the wildlife, you’ll be admiring the charming villages as you assist the townsfolk with their troubles. It’s worth taking on some of the natives’ burdens since it can earn you a variety of rewards that range from something as small as a fishing rod to your own farm!
In your adventures, you’ll come across a recurring threat in the game called the Murk. It’s up to you as the hero to help eliminate its presence and get to the bottom of what’s causing it. You’ll find that environmentalism is a common theme within this game. In our interview with Cheryl Vance of Prideful Sloth, she described a major influence for this was Hayao Miyazaki and the way he’s used these types of themes similarly in his movies.
Another brilliant aspect of Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is that there’s absolutely no combat in the game. Instead, in order to replace that sense of fulfillment often associated with combat, they’ve decided to focus on the ability to harvest resources. This is where those drawbacks to Harvest Moon stem.
Overall, our preview with Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles was a positive one and we can't wait to see the full potential of this upcoming indie game when it releases for PlayStation 4 and PC on July 18th, 2017.